The photos above are of two cute pieces I picked up off an illustrator friend of mine living in Tokyo. His name is Josh Mckibillo and I first met him in 2006 at my first Design Festa. He stopped by my booth and praised my work and then by some bizarre twist of fate we were in adjoining booths at the next Design Festa so we got even more time to get acquainted. We then met for a chat and a bowl of noodles in Ueno later that month and chatted about all things illustration and Japan.
I jumped with joy last week when my two large boxes from Japan arrived on my doorstep and I finally could unwrap all my goodies, these pictures amongst them, and set them up in my studio. They now have pride of place on my mantelpiece and question each other from each end of it with “nani?”…”nani?” (nani, means ‘what’ in Japanese). The birds themselves aren’t actually painted but cut out from a black, flocked sticker.
I am also delighted to see the plum blossoms in my backyard blooming and have now made it a ritual to feed seed and old bread to the birds that sit in the trees in my backyard. There is ‘stumpy’ the Dove, he has a kind of club foot, and his other Dove buddies and a bunch of Minors as well as Blackbirds, Sparrows, Wattlebirds and Whiteye’s.
Then there is this awesome book I found while organizing all my reference material. I can’t remember where it came from exactly, probably borrowed from my parents, but it has these awesome swap cards of Australian birds in it and appears to be a promotion for Tuckfield’s Tea company. It even has a list of parks where you are most likely to see the different birds, although there is a fair chance some of them my be endangered by now… and the parks are probably some kind of awful ‘Caroline Springs’ development … but I cynically digress. The colours of the cards are brilliant, almost polaroid like in their intensity, and the illustrations of the flora so beautiful too. Antipodean love!